Vol. 2, No. 9  September 2011

In this issue: 
Special safety message from the mayor
Spotlight onkids and families 
Options: street improvements for all, Lake Union min-ferry, Ballard Bridge detours and more
Tools: bicycle safety resources and active transportation tips for kids
Inspirationart on the street, younger generation's new relationship to cars and more
Upcoming: Moving Planet event, Metro service changes, AWV closure, bike classes and more

Special* Special Safety Message *

WBRer readers, you receive this newsletter because you signed up to learn about ways to get around, and we think you'll be interested in this important message from the mayor about improving safety and responsibility on our roads.


ThemeMonthSpotlight of the Month: Kids and Families

"The Seattle community is helping our children develop healthy travel habits to last a lifetime.   There are many ways to get kids walking and cycling--from creating a walking school bus to traveling to parks, restaurants and entertainment by feet, bike or transit.  And we all need to look out for each other on the road to make sure that everyone gets to where they're going." - Mayor Mike McGinn  



Opportunities abound to help kids and families make active transportation part of their lifestyle.

Be part of International Walk to School (IWALK) Month in October

Concord Elementary IWALK


Start a walking school bus


SDOT Safe Routes to School

We offer several services to encourage more walking and biking to school, including recommendations to manage traffic at your school. Check out our website, especially our mini grant program to help you fund a program at your school. 

Our number one priority--keeping travelers safe!

Resources on walking and biking safety for kids:


Walk Bike Ride Challenge for Sept./Oct. has family-friendly prizes  

Prizes for this round include a Children's Museum birthday party, Zoo tickets, Monorail tickets and Ballard Brothers Seafood gift certificates. You could also win a $100 REI gift card or a $100 Zipcar gift certificate.  Kids can take the lead in tracking the family's new walk, bike and transit trips and earn chances to win the prizes. Sign up here.

Parents and kids: the slow bike movement is for youSlow Bike: no Spandex, no sweat

Many of us are daunted by the speedy, spandex biking culture. But there are other ways to be a cyclist.  A growing movement suggests you just slow down, relax and enjoy riding your bike at your own pace.  Some brilliant ideas are so darn simple!  Learn more in this video with Seattle's Dutch Bike Company. 

CoolMom encourages walking, biking and riding in West Seattle

CoolMom's Think Outside the Car program will encourage walking school buses, bike programs and no-idle campaigns in West Seattle, especially at schools. Learn more and sign up to volunteer here.

Bus Chick's tips on kids and transit

Seattle blogger Bus Chick offers her first-hand insights and tips on getting your family around without a car because, as she says, transit makes kids smarter. 

OptionsHeaderOptions to Get Around

King County prevents severe cuts to transit service

The recession caused a big drop in sales tax revenue and a $60 million budget deficit for King County Metro Transit for 2012. Metro made significant changes to reduce costs, but it still faced a 17% cut in transit service starting in 2012. In August, the King County Council preserved transit near current levels in 2012 - 2013 by creating a temporary, two-year congestion reduction charge (CRC) and by using one-time reserve funds. The $20 CRC on vehicles starts being collected in 2012. Meanwhile, officials are working on a permanent solution for funding transit and other critical transportation needs. More details are here.



Detours keep bicyclists moving during Ballard Bridge painting

The painting of Ballard Bridge is just about underway. There will be alternating sidewalk closures and up to four nighttime weekend closures. These maps recommend bike detour routes to help minimize pedestrian and bicycle conflicts. Read more and find project updates on the project website.


Seattle mini-ferry connects South Lake Union to U District

A new passenger ferry service connects South Lake Union Park with the U District at Brooklyn Ave NE.  The fare is $5 each way (cash or check) and exact change is not required.  Departures leave each dock once per hour. More info is here. (Look for "Mini-Ferry" among the other services listed.)


Improvements on N 34th St in Fremont makes a safer street for all

N 34th St in Fremont

N 34th St from Stone Way N to Fremont has new pavement, new "green" bike features and pedestrian improvements, making a better, smoother trip for all users of the road. Trucks and cyclists benefit from a completely reconstructed intersection at N 34th St and Stone Way N.  At 34th and Fremont Avenue N, new green bike features reduce conflicts between drivers and cyclists.  More info is here.


New sidewalks and bus stops on 15th Ave NE

U District residents, workers and students have new sidewalks, improved bus stops and a much smoother concrete street surface since SDOT rebuilt 15th Ave NE from NE Pacific St to NE 50th St. The street, originally built for the World's Fair in 1909, has rebuilt sidewalks, a new crosswalk at NE 41st St and larger bus stops. The northbound left turn from 15th to 45th is now "bus only" during the afternoon rush hour. The new roadway makes for a much more comfortable bus or bike ride. More info on the project website.


Road conditions before

New roadway and crosswalk


ToolsTools to Help You Walk, Bike and Ride

Bicycle safety  

The Cascade Bicycle Club offers a rich supply of information and classes to help everyone bike safely. When everyone knows the rules and shares the road, we can all get where we are going safely.


Family tips and tools from the Way to Go website

This page has some additional tools and fun items such our Top 10 list for kids and a transportation fortune teller. 

InspirationInspiration to Walk, Bike and Ride

Art on the street builds community

The Graham Hill Elementary School community recently painted a whimsical whale and fish design on the street. Our transportation system can serve many types of users and our streets can serve many purposes, including creating community. Read more here.


July/August Walk Bike Ride Challenge saved nearly 300,000 miles of driving

The special Jul./Aug. round had 1,296 registrants, who reported converting 299,000 miles of driving to walking, biking and riding during a nine week period--that's about twelve trips around the Earth or 105 trips from Seattle to Washington, DC.  The benefits are long-term, as many participants continue their new travel habits long after they finish the program. Sign up for the Sep./Oct. round here.


Younger Americans developing a different relationship to cars

You can't always look to past to predict the future. Evidence shows that unlike the previous generation, today's youth have a more diverse view of how to get around.

Noah Gamache,

Ballard High student

  • This article from Sightline shows that older generations relied heavily on cars but their kids are following a different path.
  • "The love affair with the automobile that drove generations to buy a car as soon as they turned 16 is just not showing up with this millennial generation," - Robert Parker, Ford marketing manager
  • There's no "Awesome Camaro" poster on this Seattle teenager's bedroom walls.  Instead, his room sports bus transfers as art. Yes, the times, they are a changin'.




Moving Planet Seattle September 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join this community event for clean energy and transportation solutions. Check out the Family Bike Expo and try out different bike hauling options, join the People Powered Parade, be part of the giant aerial 350 photo and much more.  Check out all your options for getting to the event.


Metro service changes October 1

Metro updates its bus schedules every February, June and October.  Metro's fall service change begins Saturday, October 1 and includes routing revisions in the SODO area along with more service on routes 54 and 358. Metro's service change web page has more details.


Wheel Options October 16 - 29

Choose not to drive alone to work at least twice during October 16 - 29, and you'll be eligible for fantastic prizes including $2,500. Learn more here.


Nine day full closure of Alaskan Way Viaduct October 21 - 31  

The Alaskan Way Viaduct will be fully closed in both directions 24/7 for over a week in late October. More information on the closure is at the WSDOT website. We'll have more info on your options in the October Walk Bike Rider newsletter.


FREE classes on bike commuting and bike repair at Seattle libraries in October

Several libraries are offering these two classes to help you get around on two wheels.  These workshops are part of the "Urban Self Reliance" series.  Full schedule here.


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We appreciate your feedback and suggestions.  Please keep the comments coming.


Current and past newsletters are on our newsletter web page



Dave Allen

Way to Go, Seattle! Team


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